Tyler Hadley writing autographs from jail? Crime lab expert examines signature on newspaper articles

FORT PIERCE — A Florida Department of Law Enforcement document expert said Tyler Hadley "probably wrote" his signature on copies of newspaper stories about his parents' deaths and signed an autograph: "To my biggest fan."

Hadley is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the July 16, 2011, deaths of Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54, at their home in the 300 block of Northeast Granduer Avenue in Port St. Lucie. Authorities allege Hadley, who was 17 at the time and is 18 now, bludgeoned his parents with a 22-ounce framing hammer.

After killing them, according to arrest reports, Hadley threw a party at the home, with invitations sent via Facebook.

Evidence Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers obtained this month includes a report on 14 writing samples suspected of being Hadley's, written by Karen J. Nobles, a senior analyst in the FDLE crime laboratory's questioned document section.

The June 7 report notes the poor quality of the copies submitted to the lab but states Hadley "probably wrote" several of them, including his signatures on two newspaper stories about the homicides.

Nobles said Hadley "probably wrote" and signed a Feb. 1 note that reads: "This is to all the people who have followed my case. I want you all to know I regret what I did but I have found God. I realize I shocked the world and I'm sorry."

The autographs came to light in a Feb. 21 interview Port St. Lucie police Detective Kristin Meyer had with Justin Toney, Hadley's fellow St. Lucie County jail inmate at the time. Toney said he asked Hadley for an autograph "'cause I figured it (would) be worth something online, you know. ... I figured they'd write a book (about Hadley) or something, so anyway, yeah, he signed it and all."

Toney said Hadley wrote, "I don't know if you're a fan, but you should be. It's hammer time," and signed his name. "It's hammer time" was the catch phrase of the 1990s rapper MC Hammer from his hit song "U Can't Touch This."

That note was not among the samples Nobles examined.

Nobles said Hadley probably wrote a note on a photograph of a hammer, but at a June 25 hearing, Circuit Judge Robert R. Makemson ruled in favor of a defense request to withhold the image from the media.

According to FDLE standards, to say Hadley "probably wrote" a sample means evidence "points rather strongly" toward it, but "falls short of the 'virtually certain' degree of confidence."

Nobles said Hadley "may have written" several other samples submitted to her, meaning evidence is limited "but stronger than expected to occur by coincidence."

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